About Me

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Boston, MA, United States
Free lance Chef. A Middlebury, Vermont native, Chef Jon Sargent worked his way up through the ranks of kitchens starting as a dishwasher. His career in the kitchen has taken him across the country and back. Sargent moved to Boston first in 2005 where he helped open OM Restaurant | Lounge in Harvard Square, working under chef Rachel Klein. He then headed west to Wisconsin, taking a Sous Chef position at Stout's Island Lodge. Next he headed south, travelling to Naples Florida to work for the D'Amico Corporation with chef Andrew Wicklander. Back in Boston chef Jon worked as chef d' cuisine for Chef William Kovel at 28 degrees in the south end of Boston where he worked diligently on the restaurant's seasonal, globally-influenced menu. After taking up the ranks as sous chef at Catalyst restaurant in cambridge massachusetts, Jon has been on a journey of developing his style of cooking, and focusing on the development of his own restaurant.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cavatelli, morel mushrooms & Escargot
4 oz fresh cavatelli (process below)
9 ea cleaned and blanched fava beans not split (Next page)
12 pieces of ¼ in diced carrots. (Next Page)
1.5 each roasted cippolini onions in ¼’s  (Next page)
1/3 cups seared morel mushrooms (two page)
¼ cup 70% reduced veal stock(pg # coming)
7 each cooked snails (Next Page)
2 each nubs of butter (equivalent shown in two pages)
2 tbls chopped flat leaf parsley
A few squirts of madeira and sherry vinegar
 salt and pepper for taste.
Zest of lemon
2 tbls parmesan cheese and chopped parsley
pinch of brunoise shallots and garlic.

For Cavatelli Dough
16 oz. Ricotta Cheese

2 Eggs
1 Pinch of Salt

3 Cups (1 pound) All Purpose Flour
1 each nutmeg microplained into flour

1.Pour 2 1/2 cups of the flour and nutmeg into a bowl and make a well in the middle.

2. Drop the 2 eggs and the ricotta cheese into the well.
3. Using a circular motion, slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs and cheese.

4. Once all of the flour has been combined with the eggs and cheese, knead the dough together until a soft, but not sticky dough is formed.  It can depend on the day, but if the dough still remains sticky add more flour.
5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for at least a half an hour.

1. Take your ball of dough and divide it into quarters.

2. Working with one quarter at a time, lay the dough out on a lightly floured surface and divide it into quarters again.

3. Take a piece of the divided dough about a 16th of the recipe and roll it into a long tube about 1/4 inch in diameter.
4. Divide the tube into pieces 1 inch long with either a pastry cutter or a knife.
5. Using the edge of a butter knife or bench knife, holding your desired utensil at a 45 degree angle, press on each piece of dough and pull across the length of it.  You’ll find that the motion causes the dough to roll up the edge of the blade.
6. When you are done with each cavatelli, have a lightly floured pan near by so you can toss them in and repeat the process.

For Escargot
Get fresh snails if possible if not use a can.
Start a court bouillon  (Fennel, onion, carrot, celery, leeks, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, water, lemon) and bring to a boil, then reducing to a simmer.
While waiting for the boil wash off about 36 to 40 snails by soaking them in ice water for about 5 min agitating frequently , pull the snails out of the water and transfer into another pot of ice water and repeating until water baths are clear and snails are clean. Court bouillon should be at a simmer by now, placing a large metal bowl with your snails, in a larger bowl with an ice bath in it, pour simmering court bouillon over the snails, give them a stir once covered in liquid, let cool completely and remove snails, strain the liquid and reserve. Now using the back side of a small pairing knife pull gently of the heads of the snail till you can grab with your fingers, twisting it out as they curl inside of the shell. Place in a small container and cover with reserved liquid.

For carrots
Using bunched carrots wash thoroughly,  cut into workable sizes approximately 3 inch logs cut into ¼’s lengthwise depending on thickness of carrot. Your main goal is to make sure the carrots are all about the same size, reason being they will all cook about the same amount of time.
After cutting your carrots, toss them in a bowl, add some salt and some fresh ground black pepper, 1 tsp chopped thyme, coat the veggies in olive oil and lay out on a sheet tray in an even layer and roast in the oven at about 375 degrees Fahrenheit 12 to 15 minutes, stir and continue to roast until some color has been achieved on the carrot.

For Cippolini onions.
In a pan add 2 tbl canola oil, bring to a light smoke, add enough onions to make an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Cook  in the pan until the first side has developed some caramelization, rotate each onion onto the uncooked side, wait for the same caramelizeation now add a few tablespoons of sherry wine and deglaze with veal stock cooking until the onions are soft, pull out of the liquid and let cool on a plate. Reduce the rest of the veal stock and sherry until almost set and reserve for later use.

For Fava beans
Stating with the fresh beans, pop open the pod and clear the beans with a gentle finger trying not to break the bean.  Bring 1 quart water a bay leave, 3 sprigs of thyme, 1 sliced shallot up to a boil and add 3 tbls salt. Have 1 cup of fava beans already prepped for blanching. Add the 1 cup of fava beans to the boiling quart of salt water for about 1 min 30 seconds. The bean will still be in a pod so peel that away and try a bean. There should be a small bite in the middle but cooked almost all the way through. Once cooked, drop in an ice bath to shock the cooking process.

For Mushrooms
¼ cup shallots brunoise
2 tbls brunoise garlic
5 sprigs of Chopped thyme
¼ cups canola oil
1 Tbls madeira
5 nubs butter (about 3 tbl)
About 1 pound fresh mushrooms
Usually all mushrooms are dirty and need cleaning. How I process mushrooms is fill a deep container full of cold water and crushed ice if you have the availability, fill a second container full of cold water. Add the mushrooms to the ice water mix and agitate gently not to break up the mushroom, count to 15 while agitating. Once you have hit 15 let stand for another 30 seconds, so the dirt and sut will sink to the bottom of the container. After 30 seconds pulling from the bottom of the mush room float if you will, transfer the mushrooms to the second tub, agitate again gently. Dump out the first tub, clean out the sink and refill the tub with fresh clean cold water and repeat the process until water is clean and clear. Once water is clean and clear and mushrooms are clean, remove them from the water and lay them out on a towel to dry, 1 day is preferable.
In a large flat bottom pan add oil and heat till light smoke. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until translucent over medium high heat once cooked add mushrooms and continue to cook. There will be a release of a lot of water from the mushrooms, continue to cook until the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are starting to fry a little, at this point add the thyme and madeira cook until madeira is absorbed add the butter and cook until the butter is frothy and toasted add salt, pull the mushrooms and let drain on a towel. This process is good for any dark mushrooms, crimini, hen of the woods, morel, black trumpet etc.

To assemble the dish
all of these ingredients need to be completed as shown above for optimal flavor.

Set a pot of salted water for cooking pasta. Bring to a boil. Set a strainer in the water to catch the pasta when added to the water.
In a medium sized sauté pan bring up some oil to a light smoke, add the shallots and garlic cooking until soft, add the mushrooms, carrots, and cipollini onions, cook till hot deglaze with madeira, add veal stock and fava beans and snails, at this point drop pasta in the boiling water with the colander, cook till tender. Now the sauce should be reduced by about 70%. Add nubs of butter and mount in, toss in the pasta and parsley into the mixture and cook till glazed and coated, adjust flavor with sherry vinegar.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lets talk fish

How about cod, you cant come to new England without getting a cod dish, even blue cod or pullock. These fish are generally found in the arctic Atlantic waters and are fished during their breeding season having a common weight between 10 and 25 pounds, some have been recorded at weighing upwards of 150 pounds. Another thing you might want to know before i continue is what a nage is, a nage is commonly a flavored poaching liquid seasoned with white wine and cream. So lets get started.

Making the nage
1 qt heavy cream
2 cups fish stock or fumet
1/4 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic
1/2 white onion small diced
1/2 bulb of fennel sliced
1/4# butter

In a medium sized sauce pot sweat down onions garlic and fennel in butter until soft, pour in white wine and cook until the wine has almost completely evaporated. Now add the heavy cream and reduce until you have reached 50% reduction, now add fish fumet and bring up to a simmer. Once you have achieved a simmer pass the liquid through a strainer and add back to the pot (discard the strained out veggies) and reduce again until you have reached a 50% liquid yeild. should be 3 cups, season with salt and fresh black pepper.

Now were gonna talk about a brondade, this is a classic french dish of salt cod and potatoes mixed with olive oil and salt and pepper. So lets get started on that 

3 yukon potatoes
2 cloves garlic
5 sprigs thyme
2 tbl black pepper corns
5 tbl Extra virgin olive oil 
1/3 cup creme fraiche
5oz salt cod soaked in water for at least 2 hours.
1 cup milk.

Add soaked salt cod into a small pot and cover with milk, bring to a simmer and keep there for about 10 minutes. strain off milk and reserve cod. In a large sauce pot add potatoes garlic thyme and pepper corns, cover with water and bring up to a simmer and keep there until potatoes are cooked through. Do not peel. once potatoes are cook pull from water and put in a medium mixing bowl, smash the potatoes down with a fork until broken open, add cod, olive oil, and creme fraiche mix until all is incorporated, be sure to break up the potatoes. season with salt and pepper.

Now this alone is quite a good meal brandade and nage, lets take it up a little though. If followed these recipes will probably feed 6-8 people, so have 6-8 portions of cod, blue cod or pullock about 6 oz each skin on, also be sure to have a handful of fava beans, white pearl onions, baby carrots cut into small round cylinders and some pre cooked bacon lardones or cooked chorizo sausage small dice. Once the nage is about finished you can add the vegetables and let steep in the cream until cooked.

Now lets cook the fish. Most important make sure the scales are all off from the fish. Be sure your pan is very hot before adding your oil, and be sure your oven is preheated to 375. Get the oil to smoke lightly, not rolling smoke, now season the meat side of your fish and place skin side down in the oil once the fish is in the pan be sure to press and hold down the center of the fish for about 1 min as the skin tends to pull inward causing a pocket of un seared skin (do not use your hand to hold the fish down try a spatula). Once you have light browning around the edges put the fish into the oven. WATCH YOUR FISH!!!! When the exposed side of the fish turns white pull your fish from the oven and flip it. Now you can plate. How I like to plate this dish would be either in a bowl or on a square plate. I would put a pile of brondade down on the plate/bowl in the center, place fish on top of the brandade, now spoon sauce a veggies over a corner of the fish and onto the plate/bowl being sure to get some of each of the components.
Enjoy your meal most of all.